Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting It All Online

The following piece amuses me. I wrote it in my journal in 2003, about, a site I haven't used since about 2007. Here we are almost a decade later, and the emails still haven't stopped. (Knock wood.) What's interesting about this old essay is that although the popular sites have shifted, the same old patterns of behavior never change.

I’ve had profiles on chat sites before. I've hooked up with men I've met on bulletin boards and AOL (a decade ago); I've made friends from that I've fucked around with.
These new sites designed for hookups, though—those I haven’t taken too seriously. For a long time, however, my friend Chris has been trying to get me to join a particular online sex site he frequents. At his house one evening last year, I watched as he logged on and checked out who else was prowling the cyber-alleys. Within a few minutes of talking and looking at other people’s profiles, his email collection chime sounded. In his box were three messages from people who’d seen his profile, looked at his photos, and wanted hot monkey sex, right then and right there. They wanted it now, dammit!

That was fine for him, I thought at the time. But I had my sexual trickle-down list fairly clear:  
- Friends of mine with whom I enjoyed both physical and emotional intimacy. Which is a polite synonym for other lovers.
- Acquaintances of mine whom I occasionally see when both of us felt the urge. Which is a polite way of saying fuckbuddies.
- Last and least, perfect strangers.

It’s a system that’s worked fairly well for me—an inverted food pyramid, in which proportionately higher helpings of the first two, coupled with moderate intake of the last, would keep me happy and would burn off a little of what often seems like my sometimes unmanageable supply of sexual energy.

In the year that’s passed since that evening with Chris, I started having crank out finished product for my deadlines. For two or three months at a time I’d be more or less totally celibate (and whiny about it), then between works I’d hanker to embark on a course of slutterific carnage, leaving cum-soaked clothing and satisfied, broken men in my wake. Sometimes I’d find someone to help out. A lot of the time, though . . . not so much.

Another problem is that lately several of my regular friends have either taken boyfriends or moved out of town. My time in the evenings is pretty limited; I don’t intend to troll chat rooms or hang out in bars looking for casual sex partners. I was talking over the problem with another friend last month. It would make more sense, I said, for me to make time even during deadlines to burn off accumulated sexual energy. 
He agreed, since a laid Rob is an easier-to-get-along-with Rob. “You should register with this web site,” he said, tilting his laptop around. “I checked it out a few days ago and it’s really easy to use.”

Of course it was the exact same place Chris had showed me a year ago.

So three weeks ago I whipped up a profile and composed a little essay about how anyone with hang-ups about race or age or body types and size could just keep on looking, because I wasn’t going to be interesting to them. I tossed on a couple of x-rated photos of myself and threw in a g-rated photo as well, mostly in self-defense. Guys who are looking for a particular type of man, whether it be a jock or a bear or a muscle stud or a daddy or a twink, have a tendency to get excited when they see the cock shots of me and then to deflate at the latter when they see I’m not extraordinarily handsome and that I don't fall into any particular classification of gay subculture. 
I began to get responses within the hour. By the following day, they were pouring in, and although the initial flood has stemmed slightly, they really haven’t yet stopped.

In that time I haven’t really initiated any communications. I’ve been letting them come to me, and I've been responding to the ones I receive. And I’ve noticed a few things about guys who spend a lot of time looking for online hookups.

1) There are more guys brimming with reasons not to meet, than who actually want to get together and screw. For some the urge is there, but out of fear or intimidation or whatever reason, they lack the follow-through—they’re simply content looking at photos of other men, sending them emails, and then disappearing to whack off thinking of what might have been. Others have posted the equivalent of You must be this high to board this ride signs in their profiles, or whip them out when they begin corresponding. You have to pass the number of inches test, followed by the weight test, followed by the good-looking test, followed by the hairstyle test, followed by the musculature test. . . . But you know, I gave up tests when I quit grad school. When a guy emails me (and this is an actual solicitation I received), I like your profile a lot and you’re right, too many guys are hung up on superficial shit. btw what is your waist size?, I have absolutely no qualms about writing him back and telling him that no hard feelings, but I can already tell it’s not going to work.

2) Cock size trumps tact, judging by the sheer number of men who have written me message like the following: WOWOWOW! U r not my usual type but I’ll make an exception because you have an AWESOME cock one of the biggest I’ve seen on here! Looking for now? (The only real response to that, by the way, is, “Gee, but no thanks.”

3) When pretty boys who have spent more time acquiring tans than I have spent on groceries this month, or when pretty men my age who have invested a house down-payment’s worth of money into looking like the pretty tan boys twenty-five years younger than themselves, write in their profile “Above all, I am looking for someone with a great personality!”, it is ungracious to suspect them of fibbing. They absolutely are being truthful and sincere. That is, if you understand that by personality they mean pecs.

4) As in the bars, there’s a period on these things in which one is ‘new meat,’ and thus more desirable than the rancid old stuff everyone’s seen before.

I was talking about the last point with Chris this week, when I saw him on one of my instant messengers and told him that I’d finally given in to my sleazier impulses (big surprise) and joined his service. “Yeah,” he said. “I noticed. Hope you're having fun. When I joined up, I remember getting fifty responses in the first month. You’re probably getting a lot more in general because you’re listing yourself as a top, right?”

I thought for a minute. “How many did you say you got your first month? Fifty? The site was probably less popular then, right?”

“Yes, fifty,” he wrote back. Then he named a mutual friend of ours. “He joined two months ago and since then he’s gotten a hundred emails. Why, how many have you gotten?”

“Enough that I had to create a separate email box for them,” I said. “Hold on.”

I counted the number of letters in the box and blanched. Then I took a couple of minutes to compress the emails by header, so that only the individual senders appeared. “I’ve gotten 1,424 emails. . . .” I told him.

“Holy fuck!” he tapped back. “But that’s like, multiple emails from a lot of guys, right? And in how many weeks?”

“. . . . in two and a half weeks, from 653 different men,” I finished.

I could practically hear the thud of wood when he fainted to the floor. Which brings me to:

5) Apparently tops are in great demand.


  1. And I am thankful for tops being in demand...after all where would bottoms be without tops? In the Fort Lauderdale area tops are fewer and I suppose that is why they call it Fort Bottomdale.
    love reading your blog.

  2. So much *has* remained the same. I suspect I'd get more interest if I described myself as simply 'Top' rather than 'Versatile Top'. Were I to outright lie -- shave a decade from my age, suddenly be HIV negative, add a couple inches to my height and cut ten pounds for my weight -- I think my out-of-the-way location would be far less a problem than it is now.

  3. I'm going to let the comment about you not being all too handsome slide even though I find you to be very handsome, you silly man. It really hasn't changed, but when I think about it, it hasn't really changed from when you had to go out and meet people either. There are the same dynamics of new meat, size queens, flakes, etc. It is just more obvious because you are getting it all faster. It could take months to hit up all the regulars at just one bar, but online you get all the bars at once. So the same percentages are at work, even if the numbers are higher.


  4. 5) Apparently tops are in great demand.

    I once heard it said that all gay men are bottoms in thought. Your x-rated photos seems to bring that thought out in a guy it seems. :-)

    Think back to the old days before the internet when you had to put an ad in a magazine or local gay paper and had to use the Post Office to complete the first contact. You would be lucky to get a couple of resonses maybe, but they would tended to be more meaningful since you just couldn't just pop out a horny reply email in 30 seconds like you can today.

  5. Are tops that much in demand though? Maybe you are very handsome and people want to connect with you.

    I do love my hook up sites though, especially this year, they have been my main source for sex.

  6. I just joined a sex site recently coz I'm in a vacation here in Japan and would really like to meet someone. Plus, it's quite boring here.

    in my observation, the hierarchy is body, cock size then face. and people, usually skip the get-to-know phase and jumps right into the when-do-we-meet-so-we-can-fuck phase

  7. Raulito,

    I think every city has a bottom-oriented name for it! I'm not complaining. It makes me popular when I travel.

  8. RedPhillip,

    You've no need to misrepresent yourself. I've seen the action you attract.

  9. Ace,

    To be fair, I wrote this years and years ago, when I wasn't as extra-foxy as I am now. :-)

  10. Cyberi4a,

    Yeah, I remember those days. I actually had a post office box for a very brief time, in my early twenties.

  11. Mind of Mine,

    I think modesty and honest dictate that I stress that yes, tops are very much in demand. :-)

  12. Justin C.,

    I've noticed since I moved to a new region that the hierarchy is a little different. Here, if you don't have a headless shot of your naked torso and designer underwear as your first (and every) photo, you're dead meat.

  13. Good Steed, I have been very lucky in that several fun playmates make the trip to enjoy my company with some regularity, and that new playmates appear often enough to keep my need for novelty fed. Hell, I've even been fortunate enough to find a guy who actually lives here in my little town, who's sexy as hell, loves flip fucking - and is a great guy I went and fell in love with like the silly old dog I am. I have no complaints about my sex/social life.